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continued from page 51
          the main cable where the rocket motor
          in the car is launched; the cable runs
          700m to the school minibus. The team
          also employs SP’s wireless data logging
          software on a laptop for dynamic force
          measurement. This allows them to
          log data at 200Hz from the Radiolink,
          providing  a  clear  picture  of  the  cur-
          rent stress in the guide cable and any
          stresses on the cable during launch.
           Phil  Worsley,  teacher  of  technol-
          ogy at The Joseph  Whitaker School,
          said:  “We  started  off  with  1.5mm
          steel guide cables and the rocket cars
          would ‘waggle’ along the loose cable.   The 5t capacity Radiolink plus wireless load
          We then employed winches, start-  cell at Santa Pod. The STEM club’s current
                                            record speed is 628mph!
          ing with hand units and then up to
          1t electric models. Once we were able   mising conditions for the rocket car in
          to measure the force in the cable,   our record attempt. We treat safety as
          thanks to Straightpoint, we could   our number one focus and the load cell
          then launch on a known value—and   is integral to that.”
          reproduce it with confidence.”      In the limelight: Straightpoint is not
           He added: “The cable tension has al-  the only company to take note of the
          ways been a grey area and the only evi-  impressive track record of Worsley’s
          dence of the rocket car going awry, is   ‘after-school club’. Santa Pod Raceway   for  wheels.  Easy  Composites,  Swan-
          the ‘pig-tailing’ we find after the event.   is looking into an alternative for the   sea University, Bloodhound, and the
          The load cell allows us to measure ten-  guide wire tensioning points, while   Discovery Channel are others to sup-
          sions and stay within the safe working   Rolls-Royce is providing materials sci-  port, supply and / or cover the ongoing,
          load limits of the wire rope while opti-  ence education and access to titanium       continued on page 55

           BOOK REVIEW                     by Jennifer Brown

                                     Rust The Longest War, by Jonathan Waldman
             Journalist Jonathan  Waldman’s                                    into  the  “rustiest  place  in  America,”
           first  book,  Rust The Longest War,                                 the Bethlehem Steel Works, and the
           takes a vigorous look at a subject we                               book reads like a suspense novel and
           might prefer to ignore. The slow cor-                               an art critique rolled into one. Wald-
           rosion  of  iron  is  not  exactly  a  prob-                        man has a knack for narrative non-
           lem that regularly makes front-page                                 fiction peppered with a bit of humor.
           news. Yet rust has caused devastating                               He writes with a ringing clarity and
           damage and Waldman’s introduction                                   we can’t miss the message.
           dives right into the implications. He                                 Those who wonder if the topic is rele-
           illustrates our surprising world filled                             vant to them might do well to read the
           with rust - from corrosion discovered                               following: “More of our world is made
           while pigging the Alaskan pipeline, to                              of metal than ever before. The tab
           rust ravaging the Statue of Liberty.                                now stands at a record four hundred
             The outside of the Statue of Liber-                               pounds  of  steel  for  every  person  on
           ty, explains Waldman, is copper (as                                 earth.” These two hundred and eighty-
           evidenced by its green patina). Its in-                             five pages bring a shadowy subject to
           ner frame is made of iron. Over the                                 light in a monumental look at how the
           years, paint and varnish used to “pro-                              forces of time and nature foil man.
           tect” the interior actually introduced                                It’s not  all  hopeless  degradation
           moisture,  often  corrupted  with  salt.                            though,  he  concludes  with  specific
           The water turned the Statue into a   “Rust is the corrosion of iron while   solutions such as galvanizing all the
           quarter volt battery. Over a short pe-  corrosion is the gnawing away, thanks   bridges. He advocates for closer anal-
           riod of time this might not have been   to oxygen, of any metal,” explains Wald-  ysis of corrosion preventing epoxies
           an issue. But the problem persisted   man.  He makes  a  systematic  investi-  lining food and beverage cans, and he
           for over half a century, causing gal-  gation of both rust and corrosion, and   suggests a tightening of pipeline in-
           vanic corrosion.                 paints a wide perspective so by the end   spection standards. With the wisdom
             Throughout the book, Waldman   we feel we’ve gotten a good dose of the   earned from deep knowledge  and
           tells fascinating stories of people   subject. It isn’t all a scientific or an en-  research,  Waldman calls  for  “more
           whose  lives  are  embroiled in  the   gineer’s viewpoint either. In the chapter,   respect for what’s public and more
           problem of rust.                 Indiana Jane, he follows a photographer   regard for the future.”

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